My name is Iva.
I was born in Kamyshovo and I love my hometown.
The community of Kamyshovo was awesome. Always friendly and open minded even though outside this little town people stared at me and my family almost my entire life. Even to this day, things haven't changed.
My grandparents, Adongo and Zola, immigrated in 1960 from Africa to the Soviet Union and from there they moved in 1964 to Chernarus. In 1965 my father, Alois was born. They gave him a chernarussian name to show how bound they are to their new home, Chernarus.
When my father was a little child, no one wanted to look after him. They denied him kindergarten... just because he was black. I think he had a difficult childhood... much more difficult than mine.
1986 my father married a beautiful chernarussian woman, my mother Katka. She gave birth to me in 1988.
My granddad and my father build their own business and opened a shop in Kamyshovo, trying to sell fruits and vegetables from overseas. It was hard for them because people would not buy anything... At the beginning at least... just because they are black.
I was the only black girl at school for a long, long time and I had to deal with a lot of bullshit. I had to prove myself over and over again. They called me names, they tried stealing from me and they said I do not belong in these land. And yet I had a lot of good friends who did not care about skin color at all.
Overall, my childhood was pretty cool and scary at times.
After I finished school I helped out in the store of my parents. All the money I earned I saved up. I had a dream and for that I needed a lot of money. My own bar down at Elektrozavodsk. Once I had enough money saved I moved and opened up my own bar, even though the news had been showing reports of riots and violence all over the country.
“There will be a war,'' my father said to me as he had a drink at my bar. He told me about his plans to fight for his land. He had already made up his mind and nothing I had to say changed that.
"You know I have to, girl", he said.
The few weeks till the civil war started the bar was doing great. Sometimes it felt like I am some sort of attraction and people would come to have a drink, just to see a black bar chick. I did not mind, they brought money.
My father actually applied and was accepted into the CDF and yet he was greeted with a lot of racism, mistrust and disrespect from the other soldiers. They did not take him seriously, he was seen as a meat shield or some sort of bullet boy. He had a hard time and yet all he wanted to do was to help his country that he was so proud of.
The conflict changed a lot... but not my dream of having a bar and it did not change my father. After the war, the bar was still there, raided and almost destroyed, but my father and I did it. We rebuilt the bar.
During the war my father was able to gain trust and respect from a lot of people. He fought well, helped and saved a lot of soldiers. At least this is what I got told from other people. Some said he was a hero. My father never spoke about it. He never spoke about the things that happened during the war.
My own bar, my dream... I believe, I provided a nice place for everyone for both locals as well as tourists. I finally had enough money to support my parents and my grandparents as their shop was not doing so well anymore.
The day the first news about the creatures have been aired through the radio and on TV, I closed down my bar. Even though I had my own apartment in Elektrozavodsk, I drove home to my family. My father had already started to fortify our home. He stocked up the kitchen, cleaned his guns and counted the bullets. Total war mode.
It did not take long till I saw those creatures. So many... so fast.
I was scared to death. It felt like we were getting overrun. All of us fought together. We stayed quiet for most of the time but they have been too many. My father let random people into our home from the streets, helping them with food, water or medicine. Some of them stole from us, some of them stayed and helped around the house. Sometimes there have been around ten people in the house. Too many. Our supplies did not last long and we decided to go out in daylight to find more supplies or people who needed help.
It was chaos. There is no other word for it.
We lost so many people. We had to hide a lot of the time on our way home as those undead have just been too many to kill. I thought we will die.
Once we got near to our house, we saw that it was destroyed. The fence was down, windows have been broken, blood everywhere. We watched the scene and I remember that I could not move and barely breath.
My family was laying dead on the street, a beast feeding on my grandma, her eyes half open. My father took my hand and told me to stay quiet. We observed the scene for a while. At some point, when we were sure that the rest of our family was dead too, we moved on, through the woods, not saying a word.
He never spoke about that night.
On our way we continued to help everyone we found in a helpless situation. We stayed in Mogilevka for a while. Once on tour for some supplies, we ran into a group of people. And while I thought, just for a second, that these people are here to help and we would be saved now, they looked at us and laughed. One raised his pistol and gunned my father down, a shot between his eyes.
I don't remember what happened next and I am glad I don't. When I woke up, I had bruises all over my body and I was in a lot of pain.
I am still alive, don't ask me why... I don't know but I will continue to be a good person, trying to help and rebuild my home like my father did.
Help everyone in need
Everyone deserves a chance
No one left behind